A tigerish display keeps us at bay

It wasn't great but it wasn't a loss. A little toothless, a dodgy left-back where most of Hull's best moments came from. Nabil Bentaleb switching off when he doesn't have the ball, plenty to improve upon.

Long for Hull looked a handful all afternoon, as he usually did for West Bromwich Albion. There was talk a couple of years ago that we were interested. He's an intelligent footballer who maybe just maybe could have thrived for us.

Our major problem today was a lack of movement off the ball. The man with the ball, often at the back had nobody to pass to and Hull simply pressurised them so we had to keep kicking long and give them the ball or delay our hoof until it was blocked.

I'm afraid Soldado wasn't at the races again, some nice touches but no where near enough end product. Lennon it seems spent half of the first half as a centre-forward we gave him so little of the ball in space on the right.

Nabil Bentaleb is going to make mistakes being so young and so inexperienced but he's learning and will be a better player for his early introduction into the first team. He is neat and tidy, does a lot of the graft in midfield but has awareness to learn when the opposition have the ball, mind you so does Danny Rose, still. Both were caught out sleeping by quicker thinking opponents today and when Bentaleb lost the ball in the middle of the field Hull could, should have scored but fortunately Dawson cleared up behind Lloris.

I quite like Bentaleb but Capoue is a better player, he can do all Bentaleb can do and more. Do we continue to develop Bentaleb or do we play Capoue? Do we pair Dembel and Paulinho? Where does Sandro fit in? Why have we got so many midfielders and such an unbalanced squad? I'm keen to see Sherwood's answers when all the players are fit.

Walker had one of those games with some good some bad. He seemed at times not to be suited to playing in a team with little or no system. He strikes as a footballer who needs guidelines and then he can excel. I doubt he's going to excel under Sherwood but we'll get average performances.

Paulinho has been out for a while and it showed but he did take his goal well after a quite frankly ridiculous shot from Danny Rose that found it's way to him by mistake. Adebayor had a bust game always knitting play together and contributing, he's certainly back to the Adebayor we bought. Eriksen was in and out, an OK performance but not that extra spark we need.

The team seemed to be missing desire, hunger, a work ethic. It is often said you have to earn the right to play. We sometimes look as though we feel we have the right and don't want to earn it.

Playing 4-4-2 Andros Townsend is probably crucial to how we'll get on. We need him on the left running at defences, with Lennon on the right we can stretch teams and counter attack quickly. That possibly means Dembele and Paulinho in midfield, which is a bit harsh on Sandro and Capoue really.

With Ade up front Eriksen would have the chance to play behind him and drop into midfield as required which leaves Soldado on the bench again, which is a shame as he's the one we really want to do well. If he's on form I think we'd score plenty of goals but we haven't seen that since he joined us.

Hull were tigerish and apart from a few exceptions we could pass the ball around quick enough in the first half. The second we took control for periods and applied pressure without creating good chances. I'm a Lennon fan but for me he had a poor game, he didn't shoot when he could and I don't remember a single cross, there must have been one, I just don't remember it.

Away from home and we didn't lose so that's a plus, I just have the feeling we are surviving all the time by the skin of our teeth. The remainder of the season is one without expectation, just a period of hope, the hope we used to have when we were a mid table team.




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